My Picks From ScienceDaily

Children Are Naturally Prone To Be Empathic And Moral:

Children between the ages of seven and 12 appear to be naturally inclined to feel empathy for others in pain, according to researchers at the University of Chicago, who used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans to study responses in children.

Scientists Identify Genetic Basis For The Black Sheep Of The Family:

Coat color of wild and domestic animals is a critical trait that has significant biological and economic impact. Researchers have now identified the genetic basis for black coat color, and white, in a breed of domestic sheep.

Insect Warning Colors Aid Cancer And Tropical Disease Drug Discovery:

Brightly colored beetles or butterfly larvae nibbling on a plant may signal the presence of chemical compounds active against cancer cell lines and tropical parasitic diseases, according to researchers at Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Such clues could speed drug discovery and provide insight into the ecological relationships between tropical-forest plants and insects that feed on them.

Molecular Motor Works By Detecting Minute Changes In Force:

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered that the activity of a specific family of nanometer-sized molecular motors called myosin-I is regulated by force. The motor puts tension on cellular springs that allow vibrations to be detected within the body. This finely tuned regulation has important implications for understanding a wide variety of basic cellular processes, including hearing and balance and glucose uptake in response to insulin. The findings appear in the most recent issue of Science.

Weight Gain In Adolescent Girls: Role Of Internet, Alcohol And Sleep:

Girls moving through adolescence may experience unhealthy levels of weight gain, but the reasons for this are not always clear. In fact, many potential causes of weight gain are easily overlooked. A new study analyzes the effect of Internet usage, sleep, and alcohol and coffee consumption on weight gain in adolescent girls.

Verbally Aggressive Mothers Direct Their Children’s Behavior:

A new study reveals that verbally aggressive (VA) mothers tend to control their children’s choice of activities as well as use physical negative touch, along with directives, when trying to alter their child’s actions.

Report Calls For Expansion Of Professional Science Master’s Degree Programs:

Policymakers, universities, and employers should work together to speed the development of professionally oriented master’s degree programs in the natural sciences, says a new report from the National Research Council. Graduates of these programs — which build both scientific knowledge and practical workplace skills — can make a strong contribution to the nation’s competitiveness, said the committee that wrote the report.

Decadent, Convenient Banana Dessert Débuted At Food Expo:

Who doesn’t like a banana split? Fresh fruit, three flavors of ice cream and chocolate syrup. Yum. That vision was the subjective basis for a new product developed by a team of Virginia Tech students – frozen bite-sized slices of banana filled with creamy chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry non-fat frozen yogurt and enrobed in dark chocolate. Called “Banana Splitters,” the new confection is packaged as nine individual pieces – three of each flavor – in a sleeve, six sleeves in a package to be available next to the ice cream and other frozen goodies. And, get this, an entire sleeve is a serving.

Superfast Vocal Muscles In Songbirds: Hundred Times Faster Than Blink Of An Eye:

Certain songbirds can contract their vocal muscles 100 times faster than humans can blink an eye — placing the birds with a handful of animals that have evolved superfast muscles, University of Utah researchers found.

Reducing Global Warming And Working For Common Good: What Inspires Collective Cooperation?:

No one enjoys paying taxes. Even so, we need taxes if we want our streets clean, a proper public health care system, an educated population or the maintenance of Earth’s climate within habitable boundaries. This is what scientists commonly refer as public goods — benefits that everyone receives whether or not they contribute to them. The missing link between paying and benefiting from a public good creates an obvious dilemma and temptation to cheat (not to cooperate): Why shouldn’t I let the others pay for it?

Avatars As Communicators Of Emotions:

Current interactive systems enable users to communicate with computers in many ways, but not taking into account emotional communication. A PhD thesis presented at the University of the Basque Country puts forward the use of avatars or virtual Internet personages as an efficient form of non-verbal communication, principally focusing on emotional aspects.

Why Musicians Make Us Weep And Computers Don’t:

Music can soothe the savage breast much better if played by musicians rather than clever computers, according to a new University of Sussex-led study.

Scientists Generally Happy With Their Media Interaction:

Scientists and journalists get along much better than the anecdotal ‘horror stories’ would lead us to believe, according to new research published today in the journal Science, which has found that 57% of researchers were ‘mostly pleased’ with their media interaction, while only 6% percent were ‘mostly dissatisfied’.

Learning To Talk To Teens About Sex — While At Work:

Sex is one of the most difficult topics a parent can bring up with an adolescent, but a new study finds that parents who are taught specific communication skills can more readily tackle these conversations and sustain them over time.

Gender, Time Of Day Affect Response To Vaccination:

A new study reveals that men, but not women, vaccinated in the morning produced a better peak antibody response to both hepatitis A and the influenza strain. ———- Men vaccinated in the morning showed the strongest immune response. Almost twice as many men showed a twofold increase in antibody response when vaccinated in the morning as opposed to the afternoon.

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